Mustang Parts
   Carrying Saleen wheels and Bullitt wheels.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

TxtStopper: Probably Illegal

I saw a press release about a device called the TxtStopper, which is a cell phone jammer you wire into your car's 12v power line to jam cell phones when your engine is running.  The idea is to keep your teenager from texting while driving.

This device is probably not legal in the U.S., since it interferes with legal and regulated cell phone signals.

Also, I don't see how they keep it just to your vehicle.  If it is so low powered that it doesn't extend much beyond about a 5 foot radius, it may not be powerful enough to reliably jam your phone.

Also, cell phones in vehicles have legitimate safety uses, such as 911. 

Bad idea.


Anonymous said...

Bad idea? Probably illegal? There is NO legitimate use of a cell phone WHILE DRIVING. NONE. Not even 911. Diver education instructors and law enforcement encourage every driver to pull safely off the road way to make any call.

An automotive engineer does not make you a lawyer, an expert on cell phone operation nor driver education.

An irresponsible post

The Auto Prophet said...

You are right, using a cell phone while driving is not safe.

However, that doesn't change the fact that a) cell phone jammers are not legal in the U.S. for civilian use, b) the device may jam other cell phones nearby, and c) having a working cell phone after an accident is important.

Judging by your outrage, I suspect you are affiliated with the Txtstopper people.

You should know that I have forwarded the information about Txtstopper to the FCC for investigation.

Anonymous said...

"Outrage" would be an overstatement. "Associated" would be an assumption.

FCC investigation? Your a great American. What we do know...Texting and Talking while driving is dangerous, irresponsible and ILLEGAL in 27 states and likely to be national law.

Hmmm...Do you use your cell phone while you are driving? Tell the truth.

Anonymous said...

While you good citizens scrap, could somebody help with the facts? I'm in Georgia and it's law tomorrow. My god-daughter is at that age where her life is tied to the phone and I hand her my car keys without hesitation. I appreciate the heads up regarding legality, but can you recommend an alternative.

Also...I'm not concerned about the car next to my car when she's driving, but I am concerned about the one in front of her. The one she won't see if she's distracted. I hate to admitit, but Oprah and Tom Cruise made me focus on this last week (before that I had not even thought about it).

Merci'...I'll monitor your blog. Thanks in advance.

Note to the other Anonymous...if you are affiliated with Txtstopper, would you post "how to get/where to get details".

Anonymous said...

To answer the legality questions posted here, if this device actively jams cell phones by transmitting interference (which I assume it does) then it is illegal to operate. See 47 U.S.C Sec.333 (US Communications Act of 1934):

“No person shall willfully or maliciously interfere with or cause interference to any radio communications of any station licensed or authorized by or under this chapter or operated by the United States Government.”

Texting and driving IS a huge problem, but unfortunately unless the law is changed systems like this are not the answer. To illustrate one major problem with a system that jams cell phones whenever a car is on and in gear think about what would happen in the event of an accident...

If the vehicle is not disabled by the impact (and you are) you're not going to be able to call 911. Onboard systems like OnStar would also be disabled. Not a good situation.

Jeremy Chalmers said...

As general counsel for a company with similar technology I can tell you that there is no question on legality. “The FCC has informed Trinity-Noble that for the general public the technology used in the GAVP is currently prohibited by federal statute. Consequently, the GAVP device is not available for purchase or use by the general public. Currently GAVP can only be legally sold for use by the Government of the United States or any agency thereof pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 302 ( c )"

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal...Cell phone service providers, auto makers, and the U.S. government all have dirty hands when it comes to the epedemic of distracted driving. PERIOD.

I say solutions providers like Trinity Nobel, Txtsopper and any others should find the loop whole and jump through it. Let the parents and guardians responsible for care of the young driver in their families and the vehicles they drive decide if they want to chance being nabbed by the FCC or attending a funeral, hospital bills, legal bills, financial ruin.

Sounds like simple math to me.

Anonymous said...

Ill agree with most of the people here on the fact that the jammers would help, but the evidence is clearly there. Its simply illegal people. The government sees it as a problem because it blocks out signals that people are paying for. Its concidered property damage on the grounds that it prevents cell phone companies from sending signals to their customers. The fact is that this jammer wouldn't block signals exclusive to the car. Outside signals are blocked as well, potentially causing damaging after effects. This is a classic example of trying to protect humans from something as idiotic as texting while driving. These accidents you say are caused by cell phones are only caused by the dangerous actions of the drivers. If we want less accidents, its as simple as setting your phone down when you're behind the wheel. If a jammer is required to keep you from your "precious" conversations, perhaps you need to take a look and see the true problem in this equation.

Anonymous said...


I agree with most insight offered; especially appreciate everybody's internet saviness and ability to quote the laws as defined in the Communications Act of 1934 ect....

Does the law also include the use of radio transmissions that may occur in or on the personal property of an individual? For example; my home, car, a privately owned building such as a business and/or church?

FYI, any post is's your opinion and we all have them!

Anonymous said...

The larger problem with products such as TxTstopper is that their jamming is indiscriminate. The channels used for cell phones and public safety (i.e. fire, police, etc) are intermixed. If you interfere with a cell phone, you may also be blocking a signal to the fireman or police officer who owes their life to good reception of their radios. The first responder to your child’s car accident may not be able to save her life because of the jammer.